By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon’s sports park property on the west edge of the city has been fenced in for grazing livestock.
Williams Family Investments LLC is leasing 156.7 acres of City of Yukon-owned land near Main Street (SH-66) and Frisco Road.
“They wanted to lease the property for agricultural use since we weren’t doing anything with it,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said. “They will have horses and Watusi cattle.”
The three-year lease is for $11,752.50 annually, paid in $979.38 monthly increments.
The lease started March 1 and can be terminated at any time with a 190-day written notice.
Williams Family Investments was the low bidder to lease the large piece of property as pastureland.
The site has been proposed for a sports park development. It will be leased for agricultural use until Yukon city officials formalize a plan to develop the property.
“We’re working on doing a g.o. (general obligation) bond or sales tax increase,” Kretchmar explained. “That campaign has started.
“We would like to use the property for public use, as well as some retail development.”
Public input will be solicited through surveys and town hall meetings to see what Yukon residents want to see included in a bond issue or sales tax proposal.
Among options is a new sports park/recreation complex on the Frisco Road land, one being promoted by Ward 4 City Council Member Aric Gilliland and At-Large Council Member Jeff Wootton.
Gilliland and Wootton believe this project would bring people to Yukon and generate considerable sales tax revenue to boost city coffers.
Some 73% of Yukon voters in March 2017 voted against an $18 million sports park bond that would have built a Yukon sports complex on the property near Frisco Road and Highway 66.
City officials will have new plans for the next sports park/recreation bond proposal.
“Everything will be fresh, depending on what the public’s input is,” Kretchmar explained. “The last g.o. bond we brought to the citizens was mostly just soccer fields.
“This will be multi-use, multi-generational.”
The City of Yukon hopes to release a survey to the public around Aug. 15, with town hall meetings to follow in all city wards.
Among other proposed projects are a new community center, fire station and library; along with major infrastructure upgrades.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The City of Yukon has kept a 600-foot strip of land from Frisco Road to the west, not part of the sports park property lease, for future economic development in a Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) district.
City crews recently started burning off large piles of tree debris that were collected at a disposal site near the corner of SH-66 and Frisco Road after last October’s epic pre-winter storm.
“They’re using an incinerator to burn the mulch from the ice storm,” Kretchmar explained.
A new $14 million interchange at Interstate 40 and Frisco Road – directly south – is due to open early this fall. Yukon city officials believe the interchange will spur development, notably hotels, restaurants and other major retailers.
The Yukon Municipal Authority, comprised of the city council members, approved the sports park property agricultural lease in February by a 3-2 vote.
The lease was signed by Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby and Dale Dorsey, manager of Williams Family Investments LLC.
The lessee is allowed to construct two ponds or tanks with 100-foot by 100-foot surface areas and maximum depths of eight feet. The lessee also is allowed to install a water well on the property.
Yukon’s city manager believes leasing the property as pastureland was a sound move while further plans are developed for long-term use.
“The property is now being used, and we don’t have to mow, spray and keep it up,” Kretchmar noted. “Maintaining it costs money.
“Anything to keep the cost down on it right now is good for us.”